Table of Contents

  • The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), created in 1997, represents a commitment by the governments of OECD countries to monitor the outcomes of education systems, in terms of student achievement, within a common, internationally agreed framework. PISA is a collaborative effort, bringing together scientific expertise from the participating countries/economies and steered jointly by their governments on the basis of shared policy interests. Experts from participating countries also serve on working groups that are charged with linking the PISA policy objectives with the best available substantive and technical expertise in the field of internationally comparable assessments. Through involvement in these expert groups, countries ensure that the PISA assessment instruments are internationally valid and take into account the cultural and curricular context of the PISA-participating countries and economies.

  • “What is important for citizens to know and be able to do?” In response to that question and to the need for crossnationally comparable evidence on student performance, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) launched the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 1997. PISA assesses the extent to which 15-year-old students, near the end of their compulsory education, have acquired key knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in modern societies.

  • Science is the main subject of assessment in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2015. This chapter defines “scientific literacy” as assessed in PISA. It describes the types of contexts, knowledge, competencies and attitudes towards science that are reflected in the assessment’s science problems and provides several sample items. The chapter also discusses how student performance in science is measured and reported.

  • This chapter defines “reading literacy” as assessed in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2015 and the competencies required for reading literacy. It describes the cognitive processes (aspects) involved in reading that are assessed, the types of texts and response formats used in the assessment, and how student performance in reading is measured and reported.

  • This chapter defines “mathematical literacy” as assessed in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2015 and the competencies required for mathematical literacy. It explains the processes, content knowledge and contexts reflected in the assessment’s mathematics problems, and how student performance in mathematics is measured and reported.

  • This chapter describes the rationale behind measuring 15-year-olds’ financial literacy in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and defines the term. It explains the content, processes and contexts that are reflected in the financial literacy problems used in the assessment, and describes how student proficiency in financial literacy is measured and reported.

  • This chapter describes the core content of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015 and PISA’s interest in measuring student’s engagement at school, dispositions towards school and their self-beliefs, and in gathering information about students’ backgrounds and the learning environment at school. The chapter discusses the content and aims of the Student Questionnaire, the School Questionnaire (completed by school principals), the optional Parent Questionnaire (completed by parents of students who sat the PISA test), the optional Educational Career Questionnaire (completed by students, concerning their educational and career aspirations), the optional ICT Familiarity Questionnaire (completed by students, concerning their attitudes towards and experience with computers) and the optional Teacher Questionnaire (completed by teachers, and introduced in PISA 2015).